TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — After launching from Kennedy Space Center Wednesday evening, the crew from Inspiration4 made history being the first all civilian flight to reach orbit. These four people did not have any training from NASA.
Self-made billionaire Jared Isaacman is the commander on this flight and fully funded it. He paid SpaceX an undisclosed amount to launch him and three other people to an orbit of 357 miles above earth.
After launch, it didn’t take long for SpaceX to tweet a video revealing the Crew Dragon’s cupola. The cupola is a large window at the top of the capsule. The window is now the largest window to ever be in space. We haven’t seen many pictures taken from it since launch though.
SpaceX tweeted an update on the crew Thursday afternoon saying “The @inspiration4x crew is healthy, happy, and resting comfortably. Before the crew went to bed, they traveled 5.5 times around Earth, completed their first round of scientific research, and enjoyed a couple of meals.”
Keep in mind, this launch is not paid for by NASA or any government agency, it is private. Since the launch was fully funded by a private citizen through a private company, they don’t have any obligations to release mission updates or pictures.
However, the Inspiration4 crew finally released four pictures late Thursday night. The tweet said, “The crew of #Inspiration4 had an incredible first day in space! They’ve completed more than 15 orbits around planet Earth since liftoff and made full use of the Dragon cupola.”
This entire mission has been documented by Netflix in the docuseries “Countdown”. It is possible the crew is saving most of the pictures, videos and detailed account of this mission for a new episode.
While each member of the crew was excited about their historic flight, the main mission was to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. They set a goal of 200 million dollars. Isaacman, the commander, pledged to donate 100 million dollars to that goal.
As of Friday morning, the Inspiration4’s website showed a total of $139,143,024 including the $100 million from Issacman.
They are scheduled to splashdown somewhere off the coast of Florida Saturday. The recovery weather looks decent with seas forecast to be about 1-2 feet up and down the coast.
There is a concern for showers and thunderstorms, especially in the Gulf of Mexico but the capsule can splashdown in multiple locations.